Penalties For The Unvaccinated? Here’s What You Need To Know

There is still a significant number of unvaccinated people in the United States despite the sweeping vaccine mandates by President Joe Biden. Let’s look at the possible and current consequences, considering the present circumstances, for the unvaccinated population.

The Yes Or No Box For The Open-Enrollment Period

The annual open-enrollment period of the federal government runs from Nov. 1, 2021, through Jan. 15, 2022. This is the time for Americans to enroll for their health insurance coverage for next year. For the open-enrollment period this year, it will not have a “yes or no” box to verify a person’s vaccination status, but that might change for the 2023 open-enrollment season, Kiplinger reported.

This is one of the possible “penalties” faced by the unvaccinated population. The federal government has not confirmed it yet, and it is unclear what the repercussions are in case the person ticks no.

Employers Asking For Health Insurance Surcharge

One of the first employers to ask for a monthly health insurance surcharge is Delta, one of the largest global airlines. In August, they announced requiring the unvaccinated employees to pay a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memorandum that the extra monthly surcharge was designed to address the financial risk that the unvaccinated employees caused the company.

VEKSCTM4ERJNFDZX7ZKNEJZP2A scaled
Credit: reuters.com

Health Insurance Companies Looking At Higher Premium Payments

Some health insurance companies are also considering that people who had COVID-19 are more prone to develop health problems. If this is the case, they are reportedly looking into increasing their cost of care. The effect would be employers adding a premium surcharge for unvaccinated employees, Patricia Graves, employee benefits expert with the Society of Human Resource Management, said.

Insurance companies cannot deny a person coverage because you had COVID-19. Surcharges are also legal as long as you are offered an alternative. For example, for smokers, the alternative to the surcharge is to complete a program that helps them stop smoking. For COVID-19, the alternative for the surcharge is to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 has so far claimed 713,953 lives and infected 44,199,496 in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, making it the country worst hit by the disease, according to worldometer data.